Paris: Bastille and République
SEE Passage Vendôme
3 place de la République
The arcade is a good example of France's early-19th-century shopping malls; it remains unrestored, unlike most of its polished, upscale cousins scattered around the grand boulevards to the west. The walkway is illuminated with "zenith lighting," or a glass roof. Closes at 8 p.m.
SEE Promenade Plantée
Access along avenue Daumesnil, promenade-plantee.org
Built atop a disused elevated railway, the walkway makes for a bird's-eye glimpse of life below. Underneath lies the Viaduc des Arts, a series of brick arches converted into well-heeled showrooms and artisan ateliers selling furniture, tapestries, musical instruments, and jewelry.
EAT Café de l'Industrie
16-17 rue St-Sabin, 01/47-00-13-53
Reliable French food such as quiche and boeuf bourguignon (beef stewed in red wine) served amid eclectic decor and funky accents such as enormous tortoise shells, which hang on the wall. It attracts in-the-know locals and artsy globetrotters.
EAT Chez Paul
13 rue de Charonne, 01/47-00-34-57
A bustling boîte with low ceilings and close tables. The menu features affordable highlights from France's cuisine traditionnelle, including rabbit thighs stuffed with mint and goat cheese.
74 rue de Charonne, 01/47-00-47-59
The cheapest trendy ethnic joint in town, so expect to dine with your elbows pinned to your sides. Try a Vietnamese dish of chicken sautéed in either ginger or citronella (lemongrass).
EAT Pause Café Bastille
41 rue de Charonne, 01/48-06-80-33
A café where most habitués just plop down for an afternoon coffee or cool drink on the ample terrace, which gets great amounts of sunshine when the weather permits. Terrific for people-watching.
29 rue Beaurepaire, 01/42-02-07-88
Inexpensive vintage clothes and new knockoffs of the trendy look. But the real treat is the charm of Canal St-Martin, Paris's most laid-back waterfront, lined with sidewalk cafés and baby strollers.
SHOP Le Night Shop
34 rue de Lappe, 06/88-04-26-40
An embodiment of the Cool Paris Hipster Boutique: a small, unisex space with colorful 1970s clothes and paintings by local and international unknowns. It keeps alternative business hours-until 2 a.m.-to be in sync with the well-known party scene that's sprouted around the street's proliferation of bars. Closed Sun.
SHOP The Lazy Dog
2 passage Thiéré, 01/58-30-94-76, thelazydog.fr
Stocks a great selection of books and magazines on graphic art-many in English. Titles include such fashionable disciplines as Japanese junk-food packaging and American indie fonts.
Opposite 11 quai François Mauriac, 01/53-60-17-30, batofar.org
This former lightship, now a nightclub moored on the Left Bank south of the Bastille, is a research center for French cool-hunters. Its scènes d'été, or DJ parties, on summer Sunday aftenoons are especially popular-people come to lounge and hear expert DJs. Cover from E5 (but occasionally free).
PLAY La Scène Bastille
2 bis rue des Taillandiers, 01/48-06-50-70, la-scene.com
A buzzing venue for above-average soul, rock, reggae, rap, and electronica bands, and DJs, with a lounge and second bar separate from the thundering concert and dance hall. Cover from E10.
PLAY Le Sanz Sans
49 rue du Faubourg St-Antoine, 01/44-75-78-78, sanzsans.com
A slice of the capital's decadent dance scene, bringing together trappings of Baudelairian Paris-velvet-covered walls, paintings in gilded frames, deep armchairs, and purplish lighting-and techno music culture. Real-time video of the dance floor and bar, where bartenders on the main level whack cymbals on swinging lights, is screened in the chill-out mezzanine. No cover.
See a fashion show Not invited to the big runway shows in Paris? Try the free weekly fashion shows at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, two Parisian department stores with locations on boulevard Haussmann. Printemps shows are Tuesdays at 10 a.m. (printemps.com); Galeries Lafayette's are Fridays at 11 a.m. Reserve in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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